Schindler’s List

Schindler's List

Whoever saves one life saves the world entire.

A more just Best Picture win in the last 20-25 years would be hard to argue. One of the greatest stories ever told about the Holocaust and its unlikeliest survivors, Schindler’s List is the film that finally got the Academy to wake up and acknowledge Steven Spielberg as one of cinema’s greatest directors. And wake up they had no choice to; Schindler’s List is undoubtedly one of, if not the, greatest films to be released in my lifetime.

Everything about this film is damn near perfect, if it actually isn’t. The cinematography is flawless; every shot in every scene is just a wonder of framing and composition and movement, more so because of the self-imposed limitations Spielberg worked under: no crane shots, no Steadicam, no zoom lenses, no anything that Spielberg considered a “safety net”. Still, he manages to create such a wonderfully impeccable product that one wonders why one would need such fancy tools to make a film. The acting is superb, especially from the three male leads; Ralph Fiennes creates one of screen’s most memorable villains, and Liam Neeson and Ben Kingsley each one of cinema’s greatest heroes and second-hand men. The story is perfectly paced, even if it is long, and all the more because it is true.

This is currently number 7 on IMDb’s Top 250 movies of all time, and rightly so. I would have a hard time coming up with a film as perfectly made as Schindler’s List. Everything about it just speaks volumes as to how to make a film the right way, in every way. Every moment, in every scene, is perfectly placed, and perfectly structured; really, do I need to go on about how perfect I found this film? If you haven’t seen this yet, you are depriving yourself of one of cinema’s greatest treasures for every day that you do not. It is, to be simple, unspeakable how great this film is, and people far better qualified than I can probably manage better than what I have in a paltry three paragraphs, but if I have done anything towards convincing you to watch this film, then I have done what I could, and you will thank me for it.

Arbitrary Rating: 10/10

And with that, I have officially passed the halfway mark on the list, including 2011’s recent additions. Yay.

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2 thoughts on “Schindler’s List

  1. This movie changed my life. No lie, no hyperbolic exaggeration. This movie changed my life. I consider my movie viewing as pre-Schindler’s List and post-Schindler’s List. It was a watershed moment for me. So I am glad that you loved it too. It’s difficult to watch, yes, but it’s important.

    “Fun” fact: a few years after this came out, I went to a talk by a Holocaust survivor who was in the camp helmed by Amon Goeth. Her comment about Goeth was that the film version made him appear more humane than he actually was. It’s a little hard to imagine that, and very frightening.

    • This was actually one of the handful of movies I have left that I have previously seen, and just not written reviews for yet, but I was more than happy to sit through the 3 hour running time once more for the sake of the review; not that I needed to, as I recalled much of the film very vividly.

      I love that we each seem to have that one movie that changed the way we look at movies. For me, the “game-changer” movie was The Shawshank Redemption; up until then, I was mostly a lighthearted and comedy fan, being as young as I was – Jim Carrey, Robin Williams, and the like. It took that movie to really make me realize what movies could really do, and I’ve seen Shawshank more times than I can remember, mostly thanks to channels like TNT airing it ad nauseam. If Shawshank hadn’t made the list, I don’t know how pissed I would’ve been.

      On a side-note, I really should make up some sort of top 10 list for myself of movies from the list, just so I can place movies like Schindler’s List and Once Upon a Time in the West on them.

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